SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Artist Fellowship Program, which is celebrating its 12th year and an individual artist grant program will award two artists with $16,000 Artist Fellowships, and three artists with $4,200 Project Fellowships.

For 2021, a new category was created under Project Fellowships. The city of Santa Monica’s Arts Commission formed the Kate Johnson Digital Arts Fellowship in honor of digital media artists and local filmmakers who passed in 2020.

The new award will support artists in the electronic and/or digital categories, which include digital film, interactive fine art, video, and internet-and gaming-based work.
This year’s Artist Fellowships include visual artist Phranc, and choreographer Jacob Jonas.

This year’s project fellows are receiving the inaugural Kate Johnson Digital Project Award, visual artist Debra Disman filmmaker Yule Caise, and artist Jody Zellen.

Santa Monica’s Artist Fellowship Program was created and launched in 2009. The program is part of the city’s Creative Capital Cultural Plan and is individual artist support as a critical part of the local arts ecosystem and is one of the largest, public-sector, individual artist programs in the United States.

The program provides a platform for both emerging and established artists and reinforces residents’ long-standing regard for creativity and innovation.

“It’s hard to express how much this means to me as an artist, to be recognized by my home city of Santa Monica for past and present work on James Baldwin,” stated Project Fellow and filmmaker Yule Caise. “I plan to invite a group of local youth to participate in my development process to give back to the Santa Monica community that has been so supportive of me thus far.”

“[I’m] grateful to have this honor and the acknowledgment of our work,” said Artist Fellow and choreographer Jacob Jonas. “Being born and raised in Santa Monica, it means the world to have the City support the arts and our impact globally.”

This year’s review panel included: former Santa Monica Pier Executive Director Negin Singh; former L.A. County Arts Commissioner and former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics Tomás Benitez; visual artist and writer Max King Cap; former Getty Museum Performing Arts Specialist and dramaturg, Norman Frisch; and scholar and writer Heather Dundas.

For more details on the Artist Fellowship program, visit